With this BC Government announcement an agreement to extinguish mineral tenures within the ecologically sensitive Skagit Watershed on Silverdaisy Mountain, a momentous and historic step forward in the stewardship of the Upper Skagit watershed has been achieved.

Since the High Ross Treaty between Canada and the United States was signed in 1984, the Skagit Environmental Endowment Commission and many governments and non-governmental organizations and individuals in both Washington State and British Columbia, have been working diligently to safeguard the natural beauty and integrity of the Skagit Watershed and its vital ecosystem.

The protection of the Skagit Watershed is paramount as this area provides a critical corridor for a great number of species at risk, including Chinook salmon, which are vital to the survival of the endangered Puget Sound Southern Resident Orcas.

The collaboration and support of the governments of British Columbia, Washington State, City of Seattle, including Seattle City Light, Nlaka’pamux, Stó:lō, Syilx, Upper Skagit Indian Tribe, Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe, the Swinomish Tribal Community, the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, Non-Government Organizations, and the Nature Conservancy of Canada, has made achieving this milestone possible.  Together, we can collectively shape the future in the continued protection of this vital ecosystem.”

SEEC views this is an example of international cooperation that sets a strong precedent for the US and Canada to collaborate for the protection of precious transboundary ecosystems.

What is a Donut Hole anyway?

In this case it is an area of unprotected public lands amid surrounding park status lands.

When the Manning Park boundary lines were re-drawn in the 1980’s, this area of Silverdaisy mountain was left out of the park because of mining tenures here. On the one side of this Donut Hole is Manning Park and on the other is Skagit Valley Provincial Park. A company called Imperial Metals currently owns most of the mining tenures  If that name sounds familiar to you, it is because it has been in the news quite a lot for the past number of years following an environmental disaster at their Mount Polley mine near Quenel Lake.

In early summer, 2018, we learned that BC Timber Sales had plans to log in the Donut Hole and was actually working at it already. This tip-off from a hiker who asked the question. “What’s happening?”. Tom Perry and Ken Farquharson outlined the extent to which this was unacceptable in an informative, Vancouver Sun Op-Ed. What followed was an ever escalating awareness campaign supported by an ever growing crowd of supporting individuals and organizations!

Many organizations continue to advocate aggressively to ensure a transition to protected status for the Donut Hole.

SEEC Canada Chair, Thomas Curley, (604) 763-1245, [email protected]
SEEC USA Chair, Leo Bodensteiner, (360) 715-9143, [email protected]

Video by Jesse Kuhn

In the News
July 29, 2021 Skagit Headwaters Coalition News Release British Columbia Stakeholders Add to Growing Opposition to Imperial
Metals’ Mining Permit near Manning & Skagit Provincial Parks
Jan 13, 2021 Transboundary Coalition News Release International Coalition Opposing Mining in Skagit Headwaters Grows
Jan 14, 2021 CKNW Radio Tom Umiak Interview Urging the province to shut down the mine 
Feb 25, 2020 Seattle Times News Release Washington’s Rivers, Salmon, and Orcas Need Protection from Canadian Mines” 
Feb 21, 2020 Crosscut News Release  Tribes Worry Canadian Mine Could Poison Washington Salmon 
Jan 8, 2020 The Narwhal News Release  The border is this imaginary line’: why Americans are fighting mining in B.C.’s ‘Doughnut Hole
Dec 4, 2019 BC Govt News Release Govt announces logging ban in the Silverdaisy ‘Donut Hole’
May 12, 2019 The Seattle Times Op-Ed Tribes and First Nations say no to gold mining in Skagit River headwaters
April 23, 2019 The Narwhal Judith Lavoie Imperial Metals’ plan to drill in Skagit headwaters spawns cross-border backlash
Oct 9, 2018 Globe & Mail Justine Hunter U.S. conservation groups decry B.C. decision to allow logging in Skagit River system
Sept 27, 2018 Public Letter 15 USA ENGO’s 15 USA Environmental NGO’s co-author a letter to BC and Seattle re the Silverdaisy, BCTS logging issue.
August 17, 2018 CBC News Chad Pawson NDP pressured by Seattle mayor to stop logging…
August 17, 2018 Vancouver Sun Larry Pynn Seattle mayor pressures Premier Horgan for ‘immediate halt’ to logging…
August 16, 2018 Times Colonist Seattle mayor pushes Horgan for ‘immediate halt’…
August 16, 2018 The Seattle Times Evan Bush, Mike Siegel Logging in the Upper Skagit River watershed
August 2, 2018 Wilderness Committee BC Environment Minister told to kick logging trucks out of Manning…
July 8, 2018 Vancouver Sun, OpEd Ken Farquharson
Dr Tom Perry
Horgan should cancel logging plans for Skagit Valley